Tuscan Baked Zucchini

All the flavor of your favorite Italian meals, minus the meat.

September 10, 2015

Serves: 4



4 medium zucchini
1 jar water-packed artichokes (6 ounces), drained
1 cup cooked whole-wheat orzo or couscous
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
⅓ cup marinara sauce
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spritz a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with organic cooking spray. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and flesh, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell and reserving the flesh. Brush zucchini shells with ½ tablespoon olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. While zucchini is baking, chop the reserved zucchini and artichokes and place in a medium-size bowl. Add garlic and combine. Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the zucchini mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, until zucchini is softened. Remove from heat and add cooked orzo, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and marinara sauce.

3. Fill each zucchini shell with about ⅓ cup filling and top each with 1 tablespoon mozzarella. Return filled zucchini to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, until filling is heated through and cheese is melted.